Add dates

St. Giles' Cathedral

St. Giles' Cathedral

St. Giles' Cathedral: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

1. Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

Meet your guide at "Hot Toddy" 15-19 Jeffrey Street, EH1 1DR. From there, your tour will be lead through the gorgeous winding streets that comprise Edinburgh's "Old Town." Covering everything from history to religion and folklore, this walking tour is an original tour of Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town. Your talented and entertaining guide will walk you through the streets and alleys of "Auld Reekie", while enthralling you with with its history, folklore, and tales. Learn about the secrets Edinburgh is hiding and experience the incredible stories it has to tell, as your guide leads you through the city's long history.  Topics included in the tour include Edinburgh's Mercat Cross, St. Giles Cathedral, the Scottish Enlightenment, the Grassmarket, Harry Potter's inspirations, and many more. Finish your tour in the heart of Edinburgh, surrounded by several bars, restaurants, cafe's, and great transport links.

Edinburgh: Ghostly Underground Vaults Small-Group Tour

2. Edinburgh: Ghostly Underground Vaults Small-Group Tour

Explore Edinburgh's ghostly past on a guided tour through the streets of the Old Town and its underground vaults. Listen as your cloaked guide tells you tales of the city's dark and grim past as you are led along the Royal Mile. If you dare, step into the narrow alleyways, which are only a few feet wide. Make your way to the South Bridge, and head underneath, where Edinburgh's Vaults are located. Once storage areas for businesses and shops in the area, the vaults were taken over in the late 1700s and turned into living spaces. Eventually, the area became home to slums and the city's red-light district. As you walk through these now-vacant rooms, you will hear tales of the deplorable living conditions, as well as of the crime that once raged through the vaults. When you emerge from the underground, consider yourself lucky that it isn't in the dead of night.

Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass with 3 City Tours

3. Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass with 3 City Tours

Save money and explore Edinburgh at your own pace with a 3-route hop-on hop-off bus tour ticket. Pick from a ticket that lasts for 24 or 48 hours. Explore the city with stop options like Grassmarket, Edinburgh Castle, National Museum of Scotland, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Hop aboard and embark on your city adventure. Contrast the Old and New Towns, see the royal attractions of Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia (entrances not included). Live guides provide English commentary on the Edinburgh Tour, while audio guides are available in up to 9 languages on the City Sightseeing Tour and the Majestic Tour. Hop on and off as often as you like at dozens of attractions, and enjoy unique, scenic views from the open-top upper decks. City Sightseeing Tour: Hear about the people and events that shaped Edinburgh, from the cramped conditions of the Old Town to spacious Holyrood Park, on a classic sightseeing tour in 9 languages. Enjoy Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories with the on board Horrible Histories Children’s Channel - history with all the gory bits left in! • Hanover Street • Princes Street Gardens • St. John’s Church • Grassmarket • Johnston Terrace • Edinburgh Castle • National Museum of Scotland • Museum of Childhood • Scottish Parliament • Our Dynamic Earth • Palace of Holyrood House • Burns Monument Edinburgh Tour: Enjoy the best views aboard an open-top bus, as live commentary in English brings Edinburgh’s history to life. Explore the Old Town and Georgian New Town, hopping off at 9 strategic stops. • Hanover Street • George Street • Charlotte Square • The Mound • Lawnmarket • Grassmarket • Our Dynamic Earth • Scottish Parliament • Canongate Kirk Majestic Tour: Leave the city center and head to the coast at Newhaven, with stops for the Royal Botanic Garden and Royal Yacht Britannia. This multi-language tour offers commentary through headphones in English, Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Russian. Return via the Palace of Holyrood House and the Canongate section of the Royal Mile. • Hanover Street • George Street • Royal Botanic Gardens • Ferry Road • Newhaven Harbour • Cruise Terminal • Ocean Terminal (Royal Yacht Britannia) • Leith Mills • Elm Row • Queen Mary’s Bath House • Queensberry House • Canongate Kirk

Edinburgh: Witches Old Town Walking Tour & Underground Vault

4. Edinburgh: Witches Old Town Walking Tour & Underground Vault

Discover the wicked history of Scotland as you explore Edinburgh’s Old Town, from the streets above to its underground vaults. Join your bewitching guide on this spellbinding walking tour!   Step into Scotland's rich and mysterious past on this captivating walking tour through Edinburgh's Old Town. Led by an engaging character guide, this experience blends history and storytelling for an unforgettable adventure.   Uncover the stories of Scotland’s real-life witches, exploring their lives and the accusations they faced. This tour pays respectful homage to those wrongly accused of witchcraft, shedding light on the great injustices they suffered. You may even learn some facts about much-loved characters from Outlander and Harry Potter!   Adding to the intrigue, the final 15 minutes of the tour will involve an exclusive visit to “The Lost Close” — this recently discovered underground site has been cloaked in mystery since the Great Fire of 1824. The ancient vault, where you will enjoy the remaining tales of the tour, dates back to 1742, offering a window into the past, and providing a fitting end to an immersive exploration of history and enchantment.   Don't miss The Edinburgh Witches and Underground Vaults - Old Town Walking Tour, an opportunity to delve into the city's fascinating past, honour those who suffered, and embrace the magic of discovery.

Edinburgh: Historic Underground Vaults Daytime Tour

5. Edinburgh: Historic Underground Vaults Daytime Tour

The Story of the Underground This is a chance to visit our Underground Vaults – the deepest, largest and most extensive in the city in the company of a Mercat historian. After sitting unexplored for two centuries, there are many questions waiting to be answered…Why were the Vaults built? When and who by? Who used the Vaults? When and why? How did they work, and play? Your guide will recount their history, recall their stories and answer your questions during this glimpse into our past.

Edinburgh: 3-Hour Historical Walking Tour in Italian

6. Edinburgh: 3-Hour Historical Walking Tour in Italian

Meet your guide in central Edinburgh by the City Chambers, then set off on foot to explore Edinburgh Old Town. Walking is one of the best ways to experience the area because of its compact size and narrow passageways, which are known locally as closes. Follow your expert guide around Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks. As you stroll, listen to your knowledgeable guide recount the history of the city. Learn about the rise of Presbyterianism in Scotland and hear stories relating to St Giles’ Cathedral, whose gray medieval spire towers over the Royal Mile, a famous road at the heart of the city that’s lined with stately buildings. Imagine the Edinburgh of the past as you hear stories about the controversial 15th-century monarch, Mary, Queen of Scots, and about key figures from the Scottish Enlightenment. View the imposing Edinburgh Castle and be intrigued by tales of its rise and fall, and about the fabled Stone of Destiny that’s held inside. Next, make your way to the Mound, an artificial hill that connects Edinburgh Old Town with the New Town. Pause for a snack at the Grassmarket Square, then delve into the city’s dark side at the graveyard of Greyfriars Kirkyard. Soak up the eerie atmosphere as you listen to stories about executions and hauntings that are associated with the site. Find out how the graveyard is connected to the famous Harry Potter books. Then walk back to the Royal Mile, discovering more about the collections of the National Museum of Scotland and uncovering the secrets of Mary King’s Close, a medieval street that lies under the Royal Mile. Your tour then concludes at the beginning of the Royal Mile.

Edinburgh: Old Town Historical Tour

7. Edinburgh: Old Town Historical Tour

Edinburgh has become one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. We will know the history of this medieval city, with more than 3000 years, from the first tribes that populated it, the Picts, to the men in skirts. We will talk about its most important buildings, such as St. Giles Cathedral, or Edinburgh Castle. We will walk through its most emblematic streets, such as the Royal Mile , or Victoria Street . We will visit the sculpture of the puppy Bobby , which is next to the Greyfriars cemetery, where many mysteries and legends are hidden, and some paranormal activity. Part of the Harry Potter book was written in Edinburgh and its writer, JK Rowling, used the inspiration graveyard, join us to discover where she wrote and what she used as inspiration for her novels. With so many centuries of history , the capital of Scotland is rich in history and legends. You cannot miss this incredible visit to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour

8. Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Discover Edinburgh’s historical, cultural, and architectural heritage on a small and intimate walking tour guided by one of the most knowledgeable locals possible. Stuart or Richard Usher, of Scotland's famous and historic House of Usher, or historians Dr. Alison Duncan and David Forsyth, will guide you through this beautiful city. You’ll see many of the city’s highlights, including Usher Hall and Edinburgh Castle (exterior). You’ll walk along the Royal Mile, view St. Giles Cathedral (exterior), and visit several of Edinburgh's famous landmarks. Your guide has an extensive knowledge of Edinburgh's history and architecture and the many famous people that the city has produced over the centuries. They will share their knowledge with you in an informative, personable, and enjoyable manner. Have no fear, as it won't all be serious stuff. Visit the Grassmarket, a place of thriving activity where street performers and buskers abound and which is home, since the 1400s, to merchants and street traders. Also, typically, where time allows, you will see Princes Street, Princes Street Gardens, the Scott Monument, George Street, and Charlotte Square.

Edinburgh Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & City Tour

9. Edinburgh Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & City Tour

Get to know Edinburgh at your own pace on this interactive scavenger hunt walking tour played on your phone. Decipher riddles, interact with the most important attractions of the city, and unlock interesting facts and legends. An ideal outdoor activity for first time visitors, couples, groups, families, and children. Can be used as a great team-building activity. To get started, simply download the tour app, and head over to the starting point at the Scott Monument. Choose to start the activity at any time. At each stop, learn about the attraction and solve a location-based riddle that can only be solved if you reach the specific location. Use logic, imagination, observation, and team spirit to unlock the correct code and reveal the next destination of the city sightseeing game. Use the map to navigate to each location as you complete challenges and pause at any time to take a break or do some sightseeing. As you explore, learn insider information about the city and attractions. Start your tour at the imposing Scott Monument! Visit the Royal Scottish Academy with its dreamlike architecture. Photograph Edinburgh Castle in its imposing form and marvel at the dreamy The Hub. The Grassmarket will amaze you, it is one of the busiest places in Edinburgh. Then Greyfriars Kirkyard awaits, don't forget to take pictures, famous for the story of Greyfriars faithful dog Bobby! St Giles' Cathedral will leave you speechless with its magnificent architecture. Admire Canongate Kirk, which is said to be miraculous and has a huge history. Learn about the Burns Monument built for the country's greatest artist and national symbol, while the icing on the cake of this unique tour will be Calton Hill, a spot that is always busy and enchanting, with amazing views.

Edinburgh: Small-Group Old Town Historical Walking Tour

10. Edinburgh: Small-Group Old Town Historical Walking Tour

Hidden gems are waiting to be discovered. The best way to explore Edinburgh is to follow your feet. Where the buses can’t take you and the guide books don’t show you is where the city’s stories lie, in the closes, wynds, courtyards and homes of Old Edinburgh. You will visit the sites that are tucked away to see the secrets and hear the tales. Your guide will help you unlock Edinburgh's fascinating past, the culture, crime, politics and people of Scotland’s capital.

50 activities found
Sort by:

Top sights near St. Giles' Cathedral

Other Sightseeing Options in St. Giles' Cathedral

Want to discover all there is to do in St. Giles' Cathedral? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about St. Giles' Cathedral

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 4,553 reviews

Very informative with a friendly guide. Full of historical facts and humour . A sad tale of persecuted men and women who died just for being a bit different. Well worth doing and something a bit different, seeing the darker side of Edinburghs past.

Interesting visit which is a little different from the city's standards. Our guide, Nicola, was perfect!! Very friendly and passionate, she puts a lot of heart into her explanations!!! Until the memorable final bouquet!!! I highly recommend

ross was great. a very informative tour with lots of recommendations for local gems such as bars and restaurants. was 100% worth the money i paid for it

Very interesting and captivating visit. A big thank you to Veni our guide who immersed us in the ghost stories brilliantly. I recommend !!

Darcy was an amazing guide and the tour was very well structured. We had a blast.